Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
Well, Reb, I don't know that the Alley does any of those things. It was basically designed for people to let off steam about events bugging them and it certainly does that. As far as influencing thought, I can;t think of an instance where minds were changed by opposing viewpoints. I have seen times where, when facts or arguments were presented that negated another person's stand, that person simply did not return to post on the thread. Bottom line is that pro-Bushers are still pro-Bush and anti-Bushers are still anti-Bush, along with pro and anti environmentalists, FEMA supporters, Iraq defenders, etc, etc, etc.
One very good point of the Alley, from my viewpoint, is that it is necessary to research and back up with facts to present a plausible case for whatever cause happens to be discussed. That has helped me become a lot more informed on various subjects.
I think the Alley done good....and Alicat an excellent job in moderating it.